Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The book that made me exercise my biceps. The book that made me LOL without a break. The book that is an epitome of dry humor and sarcasm.
What I felt about it
A completely unique and original story from an author who knows what she’s doing. It was a slow-burner and had lots of little tidbits in the footnotes. It is an elaborate read, but I liked it. It was a nice change of pace from all the murder mysteries I’ve been reading. I liked the fact that there were no dirty words or stuff and the story was clean of double entendres. I really wish that we can all start reading and writing more stories like this. This book is a collectible, worthy of sitting in the best bookshelf on every reader’s home library. I think that this book deserves more popularity and more praise. Amazing piece of work, Susanna Clarke. I could kiss you for writing this beautiful story.
There is no question in my mind about the brilliance of this book. It deserves five stars and more stars and more awards and more accolades than what it has received right now. JSAMR is the story of the titular magicians striving to bring back (lost) magic to England in the 1800s. What is not to like about this premise? It has magic, it has humor, it has elaborate narrative AND it is set in the best age of British history.
The first thing that strikes you about the book is how heavy the thing is from all of its 1000 pages and its humor. The book oozes sarcasm. The narrative thrives on dry humor. The story exudes clever witticism. Naturally, all credit goes to the brilliant, BRILLIANT author, Susanna Clarke.
I mean, if I had to talk about her narrative then I’d need a whole day. Seriously. Her use of premonition in revealing key characters, plot twists and story elements is insanely clever! The novel is rich in footnotes that tell us more about this world she is building. The footnotes give us lots of insights into our characters and many, tiny branching stories.
It’s like a thousand stories within one big story
Mr. Norrel – The one that is secretive – secretly jealous, secretly afraid, secretly sincere.
Jonathan Strange – The one who is likable, friendly, jovial and talented.
Childermass – The one who appears very rarely but the one you miss the most.
Arabella Strange – The one who sets the bar for wives all over England.
Lady Pole – The one who looks like a butterfly but stings like a bee.
Mr. Honeyfoot – The one who should have had his foot in his mouth, honey.
Drawlight, Mr. Lascelles – The ones who are supposed to be comic reliefs but whom you hate.
Vinculus – The one that shocks you with his story.
John Uskglass – The one you want more of.
The Fairy – The mean one that you were happy to see defeated.
Stephen – The one you root for.
JSAMR in short:
Length : 1006 pages (!!!)
Author : The Sarcastic Susanna Clarke
Genre : Historical Fiction
Tone : Funny-as-hell
Why you should NOT read JSAMR: Only for the plot
Why you should read JSAMR: Purely for the sarcasm